FIFTY teachers in Northern Ireland were empowered and motivated as they participated in the interactive Food – a fact of life conference, which took place mid-November at the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) Loughry Campus, Cookstown, Northern Ireland.
The event covered several essential topics such as food waste, sustainability and innovation, nutrition and food provenance. The conference equipped teachers with resources and techniques to take back to their classrooms, engaging children to learn about food and farming.
Organised by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) in collaboration with CAFRE, the conference highlighted a wide range of curriculum-linked resources available on the Food – a fact of life website. A one-stop-shop designed for teachers of 3-to-16-year-olds and provides curriculum-relevant resources and teacher training.
Elsa Healey, Senior Education Manager at AHDB, said, “It was great to see the passion and enthusiasm from the teachers who really enjoyed the interactive activities and were keen to learn more about the food industry. Events like this are a terrific way to help support teachers to inspire the next generation and cultivate future food experts in Northern Ireland.”
Liz Simpson, a member of CAFRE’s Schools Engagement Team, added, “CAFRE were delighted to collaborate with the Food – a fact of life Education Support Team and have the opportunity to inspire ‘food influencers’. The interactive nature of the conference was an excellent way to show what CAFRE has to offer school leavers interested in further and higher studies in food. The workshops have been very well received, with teachers glad to have novel ideas that they can take back to the classroom.”
Frances Meek, Education Services Manager, British Nutrition Foundation, said, “Food teachers are supporting future generations to be informed consumers, so it’s vital they have access to the latest evidence-based information and skills to pass on. It was great to have this opportunity to meet with teachers in person and to do hands-on, practical work that they can take back to their schools.”
Attendees also had the opportunity to network, establish new connections, and share experiences with each other. Jo O’Neill, a teacher, shared her excitement: “I am leaving with so much new knowledge to take back to my classroom. It was absolutely fantastic to hear from expert speakers on key topics in GCSE Food & Nutrition and A Level.”